Rimbey rodeo queen Mackenzie Skeels (right) and rodeo princess Jada Holtkamp (left) take a moment to smile for the camera.                                Photo submitted

Rimbey rodeo queen Mackenzie Skeels (right) and rodeo princess Jada Holtkamp (left) take a moment to smile for the camera. Photo submitted

Mackenzie Skeels wins title of Rimbey rodeo queen

Rimbey rodeo queen and princess prepare for busy year ahead

The winner of this year’s Rimbey rodeo queen contest is excited to accept the challenge and looking forward to the year ahead.

“It was a big surprise to win, but I am pleased. It is something that I wanted to do for a long time,” said Mackenzie Skeels.

The vivacious dark-haired 18-year-old is the granddaughter of Delmar Skeels who served on the board of the Rimbey rodeo from 1971 to 1991. Her father Danny Skeels and her uncles have also served on the board. And her great grandpa was pickup man for the Rimbey Rodeo as far back as 1931.

Skeels grew up at Anchor D Ranch Simmentals. After being given her first cow she went on to buy, trade and raise cows, extending her herd to 20 head.

She has been in 4-H for nine years and served as president this year. She competed at public speaking contests at the district level and has bee selected to attend the 2018 4-H Canada Citizenship Congress in Ottawa, Ontario.

She has been on the Alberta Young Simmental board for three years, serving as vice president this year.

The teen has an impressive background in the field of showing and riding horses. She joined the Canadian Cowboy Challenge Association last year, winning both classes at the finals of the extreme trail-style competition.

She also won two National Aggregate titles with the National Young Simmental Association and attended a 900 head American Junior Simmental Association cattle show competition in Iowa.

In 2016 she volunteered to be part of the 80 riders for the 80 years opening ceremonies at the Ponoka Stampede.

When Mackenzie is not busy with her farming duties, she enjoys basketball and volleyball and in her spare time enjoys taking photographs.

She plans to attend Red Deer College in the fall where she is enrolled in the media and communications program.

Five years ago Skeels and her team won a buckle in the wild pony race at the Rimbey rodeo. Since that time she has volunteered for the rodeo at the gates and cleaning the stands after the performance.

With a solid background in the western way of life and a true love of rodeo, one can be sure this year’s rodeo queen will do an excellent job as ambassador and sharing her love of the sport.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” she said. I really want to educate the public about a sport where they can learn, compete and have fun.”

Rimbey Rodeo Princess update

Holtkamp, was busy recently along with rodeo queen Skeels at the Rimbey FCSS block party.

The girls were busy handing out bottles of water at the party.

The 17-year-old said she was honoured to represent and promote her hometown along with her friend, Skeels.

“It’s a great opportunity to represent Rimbey and rodeo,” said Holtkamp. “I’m excited about it.”

Holtkamp, who lives with her family including four sisters on a mixed farming operation west of Rimbey, is in Grade 11 at Rimbey senior high school.

She is involved in volleyball, basketball and rugby. She also plays piano, participates in church activities and enjoys riding horses with her sisters.

Although this is her first time as rodeo princess, Holtkamp and her family have been involved in the Rimbey rodeo for several years. The teen has been a rodeo competitor for six years.

A member of the Kansas Ridge Riders, she has competed in barrel racing, pole bending and other rodeo events.

Holtkamp is looking forward to the year ahead and new experiences as Rimbey rodeo princess.